Naas: Murtagh’s chance to make amends
Alanza and Teo's Sister, two potentially high-class fillies whose latest runs generated a great deal of comment for very different reasons, are the star attractions at Naas this evening.
When third on her seasonal debut at Leopardstown, the John Oxx-trained Alanza turned in a similar effort to when she won her maiden at Listowel in September, flashing home late over six furlongs having struggled to cope with the early pace. However, at Leopardstown the winning post came too soon for Johnny Murtagh's mount, a situation that was compounded by Murtagh prematurely easing the Dubai Destination filly when second place was still up for grabs.
Tonight, Murtagh, who received a one-day ban for his error, will bid to make amends on Alanza in the Dark Angel EBF Sweet Mimosa Stakes.
While there is some concern that the Listed event is over the same trip that his partner has struggled with early on before, the fact that it is over a straight six furlongs should compensate.
By far the most unexposed horse in the 10-strong field, Alanza is taken to get back on track, though she will need to be as good as she has promised to beat the likes of Invincible Ash, Katla, Empowering and Radharcnafarraige.
In contrast to Alanza, Teo's Sister provoked the right kind of debate when Jim Bolger's full-sister to the stable's former juvenile star Teofilo delivered an authoritative display on her debut at Leopardstown recently. She takes on some established campaigners now in the Michael Higgins & Co-sponsored conditions race.
One of her rivals, John Oxx's Cocozza, beat Sunday's Curragh winner Manieree on her last start in October but Bolger confirmed, after her Leopardstown success, that Teo's Sister is highly regarded, an assertion that was backed up when the second horse, Shiramiyna, hacked up at Killarney.